Imagine for a moment that that all of your prospects called you. In fact, imagine that there was a waiting list of clients all of whom were eager and qualified, waiting to speak with you. The good news is, that this can be readily accomplished if you focus on one primary goal. Becoming one of the recognized experts in your field. And the even better news is that this isn’t terribly difficult, if you follow a well-tread process.
For the past two decades I’ve been fascinated by experts and how one becomes one. Why do some people rise to the top and others languish in the middle? Interestingly, when you look at experts, whether they be in consulting, financial services or whatever their particular niche is, you notice that there are some very common patterns.
Allow me to share those with you.
1) Persistence. Not surprisingly, if you ask most entrepreneurs whether they would like to be a recognized expert in their field, the overwhelming majority will say “Yes”. But, there’s a caveat to that. Something that’s unsaid.
The “Yes” really means, “yes” as long as it doesn’t take too much time. Or too much hard work. Or if we can get it done quickly.
In those cases, “Sure, I’d love to be a recognized expert in my field.”
But the reality is that most people really don’t want it that bad. When it doesn’t occur quickly, they lose interest. And that’s OK. That’s human nature. But the reality is that while becoming a recognized expert in your field isn’t necessary difficult, it does take time, and you have to want it.
Most people don’t, so they quit doing what they need to be doing.
What’s that, you ask?
2) Have an opinion: I was talking with a very nice lady from Australia last week. She said the culture of Australia is that people don’t want to draw attention to themselves. “Unlike you Americans”, she added.
I’m not sure she was right about Americans. Sure we have our brash characters. Our outspoken lot.
But, the reality is, that’s not the majority. In fact most people would rather go with the flow. Not stand out. There’s a fear that our opinion may not be right. That people will make fun of us. Entire industries, such as interior design are built around the fact that most people don’t trust their own judgment when it comes to decorating.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have original opinions. They’ll repeat what they read or what they hear in the media. But they won’t take a stand or voice an option. There’s a strong reluctance to say in a voice loud and clear, “Here’s what I believe in. Here’s why these other people our wrong.”
The reality is, that if you want to become one of the recognized experts in your field, you need to have an opinion-a soapbox-a platform from which you speak or write. So what do you believe in? What are the beliefs that others have about your area of expertise, that are full of hooey? If you know that, then you are well on your way to becoming a recognized expert in your field.
3) Write or produce materials. If you’re going to be an expert, you (obviously) need to get the message out. Which means that you need to commit to producing materials. I’m not necessarily a believer that you have to send out something every single day, but you need to be producing a least one or two blog posts each and every week. Experts communicate, and they love doing so.
Now, if you hate to write, you can do narrated powerpoint or Keynote presentations. Lots of people find that format easier. We’re in a society in which we watch a lot of stuff, and aren’t necessarily readers. Don’t let your uncomfortableness with writing hold you back from getting your message out consistently.
4) Master Social Media: Talk about being dragged kicking and screaming. I resisted (and still resist) a lot of the tools in the social media arsenal. Part of it was my belief that none of my clients were on the platforms, but truth be told, it was more of a lack of recognition about how social media really works, and the power it has for building brands and anointing experts. If you don’t want to learn it yourself, outsource the work to others, but embrace it-it isn’t going away.
There’s probably more-but if you look at experts that have broken out of the bell shaped curve-these were the common themes.
What do you think?
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube